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A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly edged lower in the week ended October 16th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims slipped to 290,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 296,000.

The modest decrease surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 300,000 from the 293,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the unexpected dip, jobless claims once again fell to their lowest level since hitting 256,000 in the week ended March 14, 2020.


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